By Pupwaya Timothy Dibal
Ekiti State is richly endowed with tourism potentials. Tourists to the state would be irresistibly charmed with the beauties of Ikogosi where warm and cold water oozes from different sources flowing separately to join in a pool but each retaining its thermal identity. It is situated in a valley and from the surrounding hills rises the warm spring.
The warm spring and cold spring flow side by side and meets at a point. The warm spring has a temperature of 70 degrees and about 37 degrees after meeting the cold water.
State own VIP Chalet for accommodation and relaxation of Tourists
The Vegetation of this resort centre is a highly thick forest. This natural and rich vegetation is closely maintained and protected from arbitrary deforestation. The area covered by this resort centre is about 31.38 and it is highly protected from erosion by tall and evergreen trees. These trees also serve as a sort of canopy under which tourists could stay during the dry season and sunny days. There is also a state of the art VIP Chalet that serves as accommodation to tourist when they visit. The resort shelters 91 Rooms, 4 Restaurants, 2 Revolving Cocktail Bars, Warm Swimming Pool, Free 24 hours Parking, Free WiFi, Security Personnel, Airport pick up service and 24 hours front desk staff
Traditionally speaking, there are many stories from the indigenes of this town regarding the origin of the warm spring. A version of the stories rests more on the traditional belief of the people that both springs (Warm and Cold) were wives of the same husband who turned to springs water in the wake of rift and rivalry between them. The hot and ill-tempered first wife believed to have turned to the popular warm spring while the cool-tempered second wife turned to cold spring water. The husband became the undulating hills that encompass the springs. It is well established that some of the Villagers still worship the springs as their deities. The scientific proof could not be wished away in favour of the traditional belief. The possible and plausible scientific explanation is that the deeper a body of water goes underground, the hotter it becomes and if by chance it is forced back to the surface through some earth fault, the temperature will be relatively high. The Baptist mission in the early 50s established a youth and conference centre and other conveniences on a hill adjacent to the warm spring area. This started attracting different people from far and near, even foreigners started visiting the centre to the work of nature. At the wake of 1978 however, the Ondo State acquired this popular tourist centre from Baptist Mission. A few infrastructures were put in place by this Mission before the resort centre was acquired from them by the State government, but, after the acquisition of this centre, however, both the federal and the state government focused attention on how to develop the centre to a modern tourist resort.
The spring water is said to have some therapeutic effects in some diseases like rheumatism and guinea-worm. People who have access to the spring use it for the battery of their vehicles instead of the normal battery water.
At the Warm Spring resort centre; there are modern facilities which could interest tourists to repeat their visit time without number. There are four V.I.P tastefully furnished Chalets and four western Chalets, (the former were built by the old western state). There are also 32 States chalets flashy furnished and 8 cabins for students on excursions. The Chalets are well kept and maintained by trained and qualified housekeepers.
The architectural design of the infrastructures is superb. The Chalet formed small letter “d” from aerial view. A multi-purpose and well-furnished conference hall is conspicuously located at the centre of the resort facing the yet to be developed sport centre. A fascinating restaurant is adjacent to this conference hall. The restaurant is equipped with modern facilities and qualified catering officers with wealth of well-fortified hot spring swimming pool experience in African and inter-continental foods. The modest Warm swimming pool is designed for both local and international tourists. This beautifully designed swimming pool is well standardized and equipped with relevant materials. Kiosks (for snacks and soft drinks) are there for swimmers too. Tourists are encouraged to relax at the swimming pool with the provided amenities. The arrangement for the bottling of this spring water is virtually completed by Ekiti State Government. Experts are currently working in the area with a view to producing a visibility report on the project. When next you are planning on going on vacation abroad, save the money and try to explore other parts of Nigeria you have never been to. Go to Etikit State to see and feel the Ikogosi warm spring.